Experiencing Dutch culture is an essential part of visiting Amsterdam. Sometimes you have to go out of the city where the windmills and Dutch culture thrives. For my day trip (we were back in Amsterdam by 5pm) I chose to visit Leiden.
How to Go to Leiden
Trains run EXTREMELY regularly from the Amsterdam Zuid train station (we’re talking every 20 minutes). Take the city tram 2 or 5 to get to Amsterdam Zuid and ask the man in the window for a round trip ticket to Leiden (around €15).
What to Do
1. Visit a Windmill
Head to Museum De Valk Windmill on your way into town. You get to climb through all of the levels-even the deck where the windmill spins. I learned so much more about the windmills and Dutch culture though the great videos and exhibits. Plus, it’s not very crowded.
2. Shop, shop, shop
Leiden has a huge amount of shopping- the city map even has a special color for the shopping streets!
2.5 Go to an Outdoor Market
I was lucky enough to be visiting when 2 outdoor markets were going on! One was antiques, the other was food, but both were along the canals!
3. Eat Lunch Along the Canals
In Leiden, most of the restaurants have outdoor seating on a boat on the canal! A great view of the canals and some really good food.
4. Go to The Burcht van Leiden
Resting away from the center, back in a courtyard, and up 50 steps is an awesome spot to grab some amazing views of the city! An old fort, but now you can eat lunch inside and walk around the rim!
5. Visit Churches
While they may not be open all the time, the outsides are gorgeous and you will often wonder through great small and local shops getting there!
6. Take a Canal Tour
There’s a reason these are still in business, tit is the best way to learn about where you are. Watch out of 20% off advertisers near the city center!
Twist: take a kayak tour through the city for a more intimate and unique experience
7. Get Lost
There is no better way to explore the city than getting lost of course!!
Some More Things to Do
- Van der Werf Park
- Leiden Observatory
- the museum of antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden)
- the ethnographicalmuseum
- Naturalis Biodiversity Center (one of the largest natural history museums in the world)
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